The work of full-time Christian ministry leaders and their spouses is dangerous and challenging, whether they’re pastors, vocational ministry leaders, or missionaries. These leaders main purpose is to be a shepherd. It’s their job to guide and direct their flock in a caring, understanding, and loving way. But where do they go for guidance, care, understanding and love? They often live a in a fishbowl world where all of their actions are observed and scrutinized.
People put them on a pedestal and expect them and their family to be perfect. Ministry leaders are expected to know all the answers, be dynamic speakers, sensitive counselors, excellent fund raisers, powerful leaders and much more. They often work 60 to 70 hours a week (yet don’t get paid for over-time) to try to meet all of their responsibilities. However, they still can’t get everything done that is expected of them.
With all of their demands they have little time or energy left for themselves, their marriage or family. It’s very difficult for them to tell others that their life is full of often debilitating pressure. Studies show that ministry leaders have few close friends. They have a difficult time finding someone that they trust enough to share their dreams, hopes, and struggles. Their spouses are also under tremendous strain. Spouses often feel guilty, resentful and angry because of the pressure placed upon them and their family. It is little wonder that so many ministry leaders burnout and that their marriages fail.
The impact of ministry leader’s failure is catastrophic.
Here is one solution. Standing Stone Ministry’s goal is to provide a safe place where ministry couples can come for guidance, care, understanding, and love. Our mission is to shepherd the shepherds. Instead of serving others they will be served. The ministry couples will be encouraged to discover what drains and charges their personal batteries. At the same time they will be in a place where they can enjoy God’s beauty while experiencing activities that are fun and exciting. When the ministry couples leave they will be refreshed and renewed and will have learned some ways to help them better manage their lives. In addition they will have formed a relationship of trust and care with their mentors that will last far beyond their week at a Standing Stone Retreat.